If Something Isn’t Challenging, It’s Probably Not Worth Doing…

So a quick update regarding the Architectural Registration Exam, and perhaps some dialogue around it, too.

Since my last ARE-related post, I find myself 4 tests in (past the halfway mark!) and have rescheduled my fifth several times now, but have vowed to take it on a secret date that is fast approaching (towards the end of October.) Why such a long pause, after passing 4 exams in the span of 4 months last spring?

Because I took the summer off. I was mentally exhausted between work and studying, and felt like I was unwilling to give up the luxuries of long days, warm weather, and the chance to be consistently outdoors, even for one season. Life is short, as they say.

But here I am, watching the leaves change from my perch at a local cafe as I dig into yet another study manual and take another sip of tea, pondering the exam process, and the common practice of welcoming rigor and discipline into our lives when it didn’t ask to be invited, pushing ourselves to do things that may seem unpleasant but in retrospect feel rewarding.

Casually my mind wanders to the idea that architecture is not the only profession that requires rigor and discipline.

Infact, this usually serves as a comforting reminder to me– that in many rewarding professions, the initial effort required (and often sustained effort) remains very high. My yoga teacher once said, “If it isn’t challenging, it’s probably not worth doing,” in regards to our dialogue around my progress on the long road to licensure. If I were training to be a doctor, I would be taking my boards (which must be taken every several years, opposed to the ARE’s continuing education) and likely be getting even less sleep. I should also note that my exhaustion might put more at stake than a sloppy detail or an uninspired section than a day yawning at an operating table. And then there is law. By now I would have taken the bar,  a concept I appreciate because the timing aligns more closely to academia and a regular “study” mentality.

Despite the highs and lows of the testing journey, I’m trying to rev up for the next few months with great hopes of finally passing this hurdle and reclaiming my weekends– and life– one test at a time!

If you have some tips that got you across the finish line, please share… !


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